Friday, 18 January 2019 13:26 Written by Jay Amado
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2024 Mock Draft


2024-mock-draft
The Seattle Sea Dogs are now on the clock...

The 2023 season is over, the St. Louis Sun Kings are your new OBWL champions, and now the offseason is upon us. This year's mock draft features the most talent of any in recent memory, with many players in play at the top of the draft. There seems to be a three-man race for top pick, and a glut of players who, if they can reach full potential, could be all-stars in the OBWL for years to come. There will certainly be trades and other moves as teams jockey for position, but for the purposes of this story, we'll assume that everything stays the way it is listed now. Without further ado, here are my projected lottery picks, heading into the final days.

1. Seattle Sea Dogs - PG Charles Ackerman (Washington)

The Seattle Sea Dogs earned the #1 overall pick last year, with one of the worst performances in the history of the league. The lottery gods remained on their side, and now they get their chance to take the best PG prospect to enter the league in years. Ackerman has everything you look for in a franchise point guard. He can pass, score, plays defense, is an outstanding athlete, and can even rebound pretty well for the position. Last year, the top-5 recruit was named to the Pac 10 conference second team after averaging 13.7 points, 5.0 recons, 3.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. The only negative thing you could say about the kid is that his outside shooting is spotty at best, and he's a bit undersized (6'0"), meaning that he'll be locked into one position for his entire career. However, he has the look to be the standard at that one position, and while you can expect Seattle to take a look at Garrett Bennett and Andrew Evans, the Sea Dogs will lock in on Ackerman, and have themselves an all-star mainstay for the next decade and a half.

2. Philadelphia Americans - SG Garrett Bennett (North Carolina)

Ackerman might be the best prospect to enter the OBWL since Charles Flowers, so it's a no-brainer for the Sea Dogs to take him #1 overall. Fortunately for the Americans there is a clear-cut #2 in this draft in my opinion: SG Garrett Bennett out of UNC. Bennett is a rare breed in that he has the tools to become a 20+ ppg scorer while still being a complete player who can pass, rebound, and defend his position at a high level. The 19 year-old ACC Freshman of the Year has a "sneaky-great" all-around game. Bennett might just be the next Philadelphia superstar in a long line that includes Leif Buyer and Brian Montes. (Pick and analysis courtesy of Ben Johnson).

3. Minnesota Marauders - SF Andrew Evans (Penn State)

After initial reports had new Marauders GM Jason Rouse scouting the Philippine professional league and being very interested in former AAU standout Sanford McBoom, it appears he'll remain overseas. Instead, look for the Marauders to zero in on 18-year-old Evans, and for him to become the cornerstone around which the Marauders are built. Evans has the tools to eventually lead the OBWL in scoring. At 6'5" and 201 lbs, he's more likely to play shooting guard than small forward for the majority of his career, but he should be excellent there, as well. The 18-year-old is still a relative unknown, playing just 10.6 minutes in 38 games last year, but in that time, he flashed the skillet to be an absolute machine scoring the ball, with over 20 points per 36 minutes. He can score from anywhere on the court, is big, strong, and can jump out of the gym. He's as well-conditioned as any teenage prospect I can remember, and in addition is one of the most disciplined players I can remember seeing: he shouldn't foul at all on this level. On the negative side, some say that that foul avoidance comes as a result less of his skill, and more of his indifference on that end. Evans will become one of the worst matchup defenders to ever be taken in the top-5. He also doesn't rebound, pass, or handle the ball very well. With all that said, his scoring ability more than makes up for all of those weaknesses. He'll be a franchise player, and a candidate for the all-star team every year, if he scratches the surface of his potential.

4. Portland Lumberjacks - PF Kendall Melanson (Stony Brook)

Melanson may not have the upside of the first three players, but the small school star may be the most out of the box ready player in this draft. For a Portland Lumberjacks team that has long been a laughing stock of the league, and a general manager in Trent Callus who is tired of being a perpetual basement-dweller, and ready to make a move to improve immediately. Herschel Pettway will likely get a look too, but after having made a move for Dorian Geis (a very similar player) last year, and lacking much in the frontcourt outside of Roger Desfontaines, Melanson should be their man. The 21-year-old had a meteoric rise, going from a 3-star afterthought to a double-double threat every night, and one of the nation's top prospects his senior year. He can score, rebound, and is a very good athlete to a 6'9" 250 pound player. He's also has the look of a solid passer and ball handler from the low post. Melanson could definitely use some work on the defensive end, and doesn't have any range whatsoever, shooting the ball, but the Lumberjacks could have themselves two monsters on the low block for years to come, if Melanson is indeed their man.

5. Chicago Blaze - PG Herschel Pettway (Boston College)

Pettway could be the biggest risk in the draft, but also provides perhaps the highest upside. In his current state, you look at him and think he doesn't belong on an OBWL court at all. However, when you see him in practice, and catch the occasional glimpse of his potential, you see a guy who can be an absolute superstar in any league. The Blaze hit the lottery jackpot last year, and landed Daniel West, who will carry their team into the future, and be the cornerstone player around which everything is built. All Pettway did was come in as one of the top prospects in the country, win the starting point guard job, then start every game for Boston College on their way to helping them win the national championship. His numbers weren't eye-popping (8.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.3 apg in 24.2 mpg), but he was solid, and showed enough creativity and ball handling skills to make one wonder if he could one day lead the league in assists. Add to that the fact that he will arguably be the fastest player in the league from the second he steps on the court, and that his tenacity on the boards is the best amongst any PG, and the Blaze will have their foundation set, moving forward. He'll have a very long way to go to reach his potential, but Chicago can afford to wait.

6. Quebec Coyotes - SF Horacio Vega (Texas Tech)

Horacio Vega is very similar to Evans, who I've got coming off the board in the first three picks, and maybe being in the mix for the top overall pick. At 6'7" and 228 pounds, he's got the size that Evans lacks, and he's just as dangerous on the offensive end, able to score from anywhere in the building. Unfortunately, also like Evans, he's a pretty one-dimensional player, lacking much in the playmaking, rebounding, and defensive areas. He's unlike Evans, though, in that he has trouble with discipline on the defensive end. He'll have a lot of work to do in that area, but in the meantime, he'll be able to be one of the absolute best scorers in the league, while he is on the court. Power Forward Frederic Johnson flashed elite scoring ability after the Coyotes traded for him last year. Adding Vega to that mix could give them a very fun and efficient team moving forward.

7. San Diego Storm - SF Carmelo Dooley (Michigan)

Dooley may not look like a superstar the way that some of the others in this draft do, but the Michigan star is ready to give you minutes from day 1. Those minutes may be limited due to conditioning questions, but his play while he is on the court should leave no question about what he's capable of. He doesn't have that one "wow" ability that others do, but the 19-year-old looks to be the type of "glue" guy that OBWL GMs fall in love with. He's got the size at 6'8" and 223 pounds, skillset, and strength and athleticism to defend either of the forward positions. Dooley can play the passing lanes well and generate turnovers with the best of them in this draft. The #1 overall recruit last year, Dooley has a great mid-range game that could be very helpful if he ends up playing power forward. Unfortunately, his rebounding, particularly on the defensive end means that he may not be able to be a full time power forward. His biggest weakness, though, appears to be with his conditioning. While it isn't uncommon for teenage prospects to be unprepared for full time action over the course of an 80 game season, Dooley is particularly lacking in this area. The rest of his game is good enough, though, that the Storms could be very well served taking him, and having a glue guy to build with as they wait for their player that they will build around.

8. Ft. Worth Dragoons - SF Adrian Sherrer (Texas Tech)

With both Vega and Sherrer, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Red Raiders (24-13) didn't have a better team last year in the OCBL, where the averaged only 74 points per game. Like Vega, Adrian Sherrer has ridiculous scoring potential. He's two years younger than his running mate, but that also means he's got two years less of development, and has a longer way to go. Based on potential alone, Sherrer could be justified in the top-3, but like Pettway, he has such a long way to go that you would be drafting him entirely for his contributions in the future; he'll likely spend the next two years in the OBDL. If Sherrer can reach his potential, however, the Dragoons will have a franchise player and scorer on the level of former face of the franchise Brian Montes. In continuing to draw comparisons to other prospects, Sherrer is also similar to Dooley: he'll need A LOT of work in a conditioning program before you can consistently rely on him for starter minutes over an 80 game season. That said, potential and upside are still where GMs place emphasis, and he's got as much of that as anybody in the draft. Somebody will get an explosive scorer, and I think it's going to be the Dragoons.

9. Honolulu Inferno - PF Ethan Budd (Michigan)

The second team with two players off the board in the lottery, look for Ethan Budd to join his teammate, Dooley, in the green room at the draft this year, and come off within a few picks of his running mate. Somehow, with two of the top 10 prospects in the draft, the Wolverines won just 12 games last year, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see talent getting out of Ann Arbor and into pro pay days this year. Budd was a former Mr. Basketball and top-10 recruit who finally declared after his junior year. He's a bit slow, but at 6'9" and 250 pounds with outstanding strength, he fits the traditional "German power forward" role that the Inferno gravitate towards. He's a very good defensive rebounder and one of the better post defenders this draft has to offer. In addition, on the offensive the, Budd is also versatile. While he's never going to dominate as a scorer, he's a threat from anywhere, and always has to be accounted for. The Inferno will definitely be taking a long look at the 21-year-old.

10. Las Vegas Blackjacks - PF Nathan Roche (Alabama)

The Las Vegas Blackjacks find themselves in a tough situation this offseason, being well over budget and the cap, but still having a bevy of needs. Power forward is not one of those needs for this year, but the Blackjacks are so talent-depleted that they have to the best player available, regardless of position, and if things shake out this way, Nathan Roche is the best talent available. Though he has just 224 pounds on his 6-9 frame, Roche is one of the strongest players to enter this year, and should be one of the strongest in the league. The 19-year-old was a High School All-American at this point last year, and like Ethan Budd is a prototype German big man. He's not very well developed yet, but has a college array of moves in the low post on offense. If he can fill out, he should be an immovable object on both ends down low. He projects as an above average rebounder, particularly on the offensive end, and could be a top-level shot blocker on the other end. Roche, like many others projected at the top of the draft, will have to spend some time in the OBDL before he's ready to be an everyday contributor, but also like many others at the top of this draft, should develop into an all-star caliber player in the future.

11. Vancouver Highlanders - PF Forest Vasquez (Rutgers)

The Vancouver Highlanders have carved out a niche in the OBWL as an old school, physical, grinding team, and it has worked out well for them. The success from years past continued again into last year, as the Highlanders upset Charles Flowers and the Denver Demons. It would make sense for Vancouver to continue to try to build on that mold, and take the best defender available, but unless the team reaches very fall down the board, there doesn't appear to be that player available. Instead, look for somebody like Forest Vasquez to come off the board. At 19, he is the same age as some of the super freshmen being drafted, but Vasquez has three years of college under his belt already. Even with that time, he's drill a bit undeveloped, but he has the potential to be a very good player for a very long time in this league. I drafted Frederic Johnson a couple seasons ago, and Forest Vasquez looks very similar to how. He's big, has solid strength and athleticism, rebounds and defends adequately, and has one of the best free throw forms that scouts have ever seen. Vasquez is also a very good passer. While he doesn't fit the traditional Highlanders role, he's good enough on defense, while also potentially giving them an offensive weapon unlike anything they've built around before. He would be a great pick here.

12. Honolulu Inferno - PF Miles Wallace (Miami)

The Honolulu Inferno are the only team holding two lottery picks this season, and it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see GM Sascha Zerwas try to package them and move up a few spots. Having taken Budd at #9, it may come as a surprise to see Miles Wallace projected at #12, but I feel that the team is positioned to take the best player available, regardless of position. Miles Wallace, it can be argued, is the best player from day 1 in the entire draft this year. He's a "what you see is what you get" player in that he doesn't have the upside of many of the others, but he's a guy that you can put on the court from the day he shows up, and he won't hurt you. Wallace is listed as a power forward, but may ultimately end up at center in the OBWL because of a lack of speed. As a center, though, he's a very, very good player. Wallace is possibly the best player in this draft on the offensive end, and is already at a pro level in terms of post defense and blocking shots. He's big and strong, disciplined, and won't hurt you on the offensive end, either, where he has a great inside game. Again, he will never be a player that you build a team around, but he's a perfect player to build with, and is poised to make a run at the Rookie of the Year award, because his game is already so far along, unlike most of the rest of the lottery. The last pick in the lottery seems like a perfect spot for him, and the Inferno would likely be very excited to have the chance to pick him here.

 

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